No-Cal Soda

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Type Soft drink
Country of origin United States
Introduced 1952
Flavour chocolate, black cherry, ginger ale, root beer

No-Cal was the first zero-calorie soda.[1]


Hyman Kirsch and his son Morris, both Russian immigrants living in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York, began selling sodas in 1904.[2] Their involvement with the Jewish Sanitarium for Chronic Disease (now known as Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center), led them to the invention of a sugar-free drink to meet the needs of the hospital’s diabetic patients.[3]

Hyman and Morris developed a line of carbonated, sugar-free, zero-calorie soft drinks which they called No-Cal, that they began selling in 1952.[1] The soda was produced at the company’s plant in College Point, Queens, New York.[4]


No-Cal used up-and-coming Hollywood starlets such as Kim Novak and Julie Adams in its print ads.[4] Cartoonist Stan Goldberg did the advertising art for a No-Cal Soda billboard in Times Square.[5]


As major soda producers such as the Coca Cola Company and Pepsico launched their own diet brands in the 1960s, No-Cal found it hard to compete, lost market share, and slowly disappeared.


  1. ^ a b Encyclopedia of junk food and fast food ,Andrew F. Smith, p.116, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006
  2. ^ Bowling World, Jan 2006, p.8
  3. ^ No-Cal Comes to Larchmont
  4. ^ a b "The History of No-Cal". Archived from the original on November 14, 2006.  (Requires scrolldown)
  5. ^ Marvel Comics, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins: "More Mirthful, Monumental, Mind-Staggering Memoranda from Your Marvel Madmen!" (March 1966 issues, including Thor #126: "Stan G., our curly-haired, mustachioed demon artist/colorist has just drawn an ad for one of the biggest soft-drink companies. (Its initials are No-Cal!) If you're in the Times Square area, you can see it on the biggest billboard in sight."

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